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Here are the two questions 1. Good Master, what good thing shall I do in order to merit eternal life. Jesus answered him to keep the commandments. 2. Second question he asked "which"? The first question reveals the great mistake and the last one the great problem of life. One cannot do anything to merit eternal life, but all may have it by confession of sin and simple faith in Christ (Jn. 3:16-20 Eph. 2:8-9 Tit. 3:5; 1Jn. 1:9; Rom. 10:9-10). Jesus knows his intention of his heart with a Judaism mentally, who can only agree God Almighty is only perfectly Holy and good. So he expressed that his intention and he expected him FOLLOW Jesus as he will not have access to Father with out Him. Jesus answered, to be perfect, he must renounce the world which he love, the legal righteousness wherein he trust, give to the poor, and follow Him. Actually the GOD of the Bible is always ONE GOD in three persons. Holiness is not only the most outstanding character of God, but it is also His most desired quality in His people. In His call to holiness, God makes three statements repeatedly— 1. Be holy; 2. Be holy as I am holy; 3. I make you holy (Lev 19:2; 20:7,8; 21:8). We can observe the involvement of all the three Persons of Trinity in our life of holiness. The Father proclaims the call: "Be holy!" The Son presents the model: "As I am holy!" The Spirit promises His help: "I make you holy!" Without the second and the third statements, the call of God to holiness would be impractical and unreasonable. We may ask, "What does a God who lives in Heaven know about the struggles and hurdles we face on earth in order to live holy?" The answer to this question is Jesus who came down from the sinless Heaven to the sin-sick world. Taking the human form and facing all sorts of temptations, He lived an absolutely pure life, thus giving us a pattern. We still have a question: "Jesus was the Son of God born by the Holy Spirit. But we are born in sin. He was God in man. But we are fallen creatures. How can we be holy like Him?" The Holy Spirit is the answer. He indwells us and in accordance with His very name, His primary work is to make us holy. The Father's passion, the Son's pattern, and the Spirit's presence are all-sufficient for us in our pursuit of holiness. When God is for us, who can be against us— in the highway of holiness? The Bible is a Book of divine promises. The promise of promises in the Old Testament was the coming of Jesus Christ, and that in the Gospels was the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:32; Lk 24:49). The crowning promise of the Epistles is that we shall be made holy like Jesus. Apostle Peter summarises all the promises for the New Covenant people in 2 Peter 1:3,4, "His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness...by which have been given us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature."
It was precisely in encounters like that of the wealthy young man where Jesus Christ demonstrated his mastery of teaching and enlightenment. How frequently did the Lord give anyone a straight answer? And this is not the only instance where he answered a question with a question. Sometimes Jesus' response indicated that the person was asking the wrong question. Other times, as in this particular case, he gave people the opportunity to learn through discovering the truth for themselves--perhaps the best way to help someone to "own" the lessons they learn. (In general, the parables performed this function also.) It seems apparent that Jesus did not give the young man an opportunity to respond, suggesting that the Lord was not as concerned with his answer as he was with turning him back to his question to give more thought to his own words. Mark tells us that "Looking at him, Jesus loved him." So he was not trying to engage in an argument with him, turn him away, or put him down. I am certain Jesus wanted to win the young man to himself. What truth did Jesus want him to learn? Quite simply, right from the start the Lord made it clear that a person's goodness was not the criterion for gaining access to eternal life (notice how "eternal life" alternates with "kingdom of heaven" in this passage). As Jesus clarifies for the disciples just how difficult it is for a wealthy person to enter the kingdom, they asked in astonishment, "Then who can be saved?" Jesus answered, "With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." It is impossible to be good enough, but God provides a way to bring us through that impossibility. I think Jesus set up the young man when he brought up the commandments. It may be that, in his fidelity to the commandments listed, the young man began to assume he was already "good" enough to inherit eternal life. But when Jesus made an exquisitely practical demand regarding the next steps he needed to take, the illusion of his goodness dissolved and "he went away grieving." We cannot dismiss giving our best effort to being good people, living good lives and doing good, for these are things "God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them" (Ep. 2:10). But that insight immediately follows, "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves it is the gift of God."
"17 And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" 18 And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone." The man called Him "Good Teacher." Jesus replied, "Why do you call me good?" Clearly, Jesus is asking the man if he has an insight into the fact that Jesus is God. He declares, in confirmation of that, "No one is good except God alone." Now the man has been placed on notice. He has been confronted by God. How will he respond to that overwhelming Spiritual Moment? Jesus is saying "It is I!" "I AM!" Do you KNOW me? ...........and failing to follow the One who knows him, the man walks away.
The rich young ruler was trying to justify himself by works. He was asking what other law he had to follow inorder to get eternal life. Jesus said in another place, by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. That is because we still have our old sin nature and cannot obey the law perfectly. Thank God He clothed us with His righteousness. Mine is not very good.
I want to compare this part of the Bible with the situation that the Lord Jesus had with Nicodemus in John chapter 3. When Nicodemus approached Jesus, the first thing that came to his mind was to flatter him, he was expecting to hear a word of appreciation from Jesus and then feel very well aroud the people around him. He got very surprised when Jesus did not even considered all those flattering words towards Him. He went straight to His teaching about the born-again creature. This particular situation with the rich young fellow had exactly had the same intention. To flatter Jesus. He had already his mind already set up with his way of thinking. That's the reason why he went away sad after hearing Jesus'response. One of the wonderful things that our beloved Jesus Christ was that he humbled him self all the way to the end to his death and death of the cross. He was God in the flesh and took upon Him the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men to show us that every thing can be done in Jesus Christ. Philippians 2;5-11.
My short and easy to understand 'Elementary style of an answer' is this: Jesus was getting the rich young ruler to understand that 'truthfully' he(the young ruler) was not really GOOD! He was making an extremely most important point that Only GOD is truly Good, pure, Holy and Righteous! And that He was standing in the presence of God in that He, Jesus was God! The development of 'shining light' or revelation of the fact that man was incapable of truly being WITHOUT Sin was exemplified so purely within this event. Jesus used this encounter with this young Hebrew man to illustrate and make an eternal point in scripture! The Law was inherently flawed and incomplete in being the pathway to purity and without the 'filth of sin within' all mankind'. Jesus was presenting the young ruler an eternal choice. He could claim he 'was without sin and had obeyed all of the Old Testament Mosaic laws', but he realized that he would lose all his Earthly possessions and wealth in which he so desired to keep! And, so this rich young ruler had made his eternal choice! (Mark 10) Jesus (The Word of God) tells us that we each are to "deny ourselves of this world and it's richly pleasures" but instead to "seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, believing IN Him and His promised gift of eternal Salvation, trusting IN Him that He would eternally save us in/on that day of redemption". This rich young Hebrew ruler showed that he loved his Earthly treasures more than he could love anything or anyone, not even eternal life if he chose to follow Jesus Christ! The world faces this eternal choice each and every day as carried out within the minds and hearts of large multitudes. Prayerfully, I hope for the one and only correct, Holy and righteous choice to be made by many currently lost souls! I pray that many will deny their worldly desires, and instead put their faith and trust in The LORD! As the old gospel hymn says "Soon and very soon, I am going to be with the Lord....yes...soon and very soon, I will see the Lord...Soon and very soon..." (Matthew 6) (Luke 17) "Praise God that He provided a Savior! And, His name is Jesus Christ!" ~~~Andy~~~
The young man was using the word 'good' comparatively - he was comparing the Lord to others. There are good and bad people, we see that in Matthew 12:35, 'A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things...' The Lord was using the word in its absolute sense - there is none good but God - forcing the young man to acknowledge His Deity. We must remember that this conversation was before Calvary when adherence to the law was the means of salvation. Deuteronomy 8:1 'All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live.' Another example of that is seen in Isaiah 45:21-22, 'There is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.' [Those Old Testament saints were to be covered by Christ's death] Also, we see that in Luke 10, 'And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up... saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? How readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And He said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.' Today, as we know, it is Christ alone by faith alone.
Throughout the four Gospels, there are numerous occasions that Jesus said things that, in the Israeli culture, would have been understood to be a claim of Divinity. So when He said, "Nobody is good but God alone", and then proceeded to answer the question, He not only answered the question, He was telling those around Him He was God, and by so doing, was also telling them that He was, and is, uniquely qualified to answer that question.
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